Monday, November 30, 2009

What is it like to live with a Writer?

You get little comments like these without warning and (mostly) free of charge:

"I like this time of year. All the colors come out and it's a different quality of miserable than what we have the rest of the time."

The Teacher, to whom this was addressed, almost swallowed her tongue.

People laugh at me the most when I'm being completely serious. I'd be lying if I said I didn't know why.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

The Creepy.... Thing

Mr. Nood began young in life with an allergy to cotton. His mother couldn't keep him dressed without resorting to duct tape, and when she did so, he would scream bloody murder.

By the time Mr. Nood reached high school, he was following his relatively chaste role model, the generic man on the front of every commercial romance. He suffered pants, but refused anything resembling a shirt. This led to a certain amount of scorn and disgust from his peers, so Mr. Nood began to spend six hours a day in the gym. People don't mind if you have philosophical objections to clothing as long as you are seriously ripped.

Mr. Nood went to college in Hawaii, and his three years there were the happiest of his life. No one looks at you twice if you wear swim trunks all day long in Hawaii. He was expelled just before graduation for public indecency.

Mr. Nood went on to work as a temp, modeling for broke artists who couldn't afford a professional and for beer commercials. When he had saved enough money, Mr. Nood joined a nudist colony, where he found his spiritual leader, Father Birthday.

Father Birthday gently chastised Mr. Nood for his shame of his allergy/spiritual alignment. Slowly, Mr. Nood found the courage to reject all clothing all together, and even to reject his desire for public appreciation. The ancient Greeks believed the human body is the most beautiful form in the world, Father Birthday pointed out. If you have respect for beauty, than hiding it is surely a sin.

After Father Birthday absconded from the nudist colony with all the membership dues, Mr. Nood found himself lost in life, without direction. He threw himself into modeling, turning his disadvantage into a vocation.

After battling depression for years, Mr. Nood decided to commit himself to his ideal for all time. He killed himself, leaving instructions that his body should have the skin removed and be encased in white plastic so that he could model on after death.

So now, years after his death, Mr. Nood continues to display himself in all his glory and creep out aspiring art students. His expression is still horrified by Father Birthday's betrayal.... or maybe it's just that no one looks good without skin, no matter how beautiful the human body is.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Important Questions

True story:

I'm thirsty. I walk into the living room and see my water glass with a few swallows of water in it. I take a big swallow. I lower the glass and stare into it.

"Mom? Why does this taste bad?"

The Teacher leans around the doorway, looks at the water glass and then glares at me. "That would be because that's my medicated water."


I put her glass down and find my real water glass in the kitchen. I sip cautiously.

Fortunately, it's only liver medicine and she says it won't hurt me. But it tasted bad.

Aren't you glad you aren't me?

Friday, November 13, 2009

Better than Invisibility

I've always thought invisibility would be more difficult than useful. People would step on your foot all the time and never say sorry. They might try to sit on you. They would freak out every time you got hungry and tried to eat, and let's not go near the clothing issue.

It's much better to be ignored than to be invisible.

The Teacher is too sick to drive me to college on Tuesdays and Thursdays, so the Principal has been taking me when he goes to work. Which means I'm getting four or so hours of non-classtime at college. Most of the time I sit outside my Spanish classroom and do the Art homework I've neglected the rest of the week. I am not inconspicuous. With an 18'' by 24'' drawing board and pad on your lap and a 20'' by 30'' (I think) portfolio, a full book bag, and a tackle box that keeps falling over, you wouldn't be either.

But the thing is, as long as your hand keeps moving, people seem to assume that since you're using your hands and eyes your ears must be turned off. Which is completely not true. So I've been overhearing all kinds of conversations in the hall. Which I probably wouldn't if I didn't look so preoccupied. I would feel guilty about this except that I'm in the open where everyone can see me- it's not my fault that they apparently choose not to. Also, it's amazing to me the kinds of things people say in public.

I would try to find a more abandoned hallway, but I like not having to feel like I need to hurry to get to class- it's right there- and anyway, as a writer I need to listen to how people phrase things. It's called dialogue research.

And nosiness. Yes, I was a great admirer of Harriet the Spy. No, I've never gone that far.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Yeah, We Really Didn't Know This

I over-think things. Very, very occasionally this is a strength. Most of the time it shoots me in the foot, but I can't seem to cut it out. Most of those embarrassing moments in my past that make me writhe to think about came from over-thinking things.

Part of my over-thinking is planning. What if I become a published writer? What if I'm a NYT Best-Seller? What if someone asks me to give a workshop at a writing convention? Oh no! What am I going to say?

Then I sit down and write out the speech. Aren't you glad you aren't telepathic? It would be impossible to think straight around me.

I've received both discouragement and validation in the last few days. I read that you have to do something for 10,000 hours before you master it. I would have to write 3 hours a day to master writing in ten years.

This is discouraging. Ten years seems forever. I'll be twenty-seven in ten years. That's ancient.

On the other hand, ten years? Three hours a day? Where will I find three hours a day? Do they have to be consecutive hours? I already get up at five and I don't want to get up earlier than that. Maybe if I hacked the games out of my computer...

It's discouraging that it's going to take so long. It's encouraging that I'm not giving up and I'm actually thinking about how to do it.

Take that, universe. I am a writer!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

"The... Silverware Drawer"

I am blocked. This is November. In November is something called National Novel Writing Month.

The Teacher has been telling me that I need to do NaNoWriMo. She can be very persistent. I've resisted based on two counts: I wasn't planning to do NaNoWriMo and therefore have no story, and I have no story.

I now have a story.

I'm going to do a spoof. So what book/movie have I read/watched so much I don't need to reread it to get an idea of the outline?

And on that note, here's my outline for my story this month:

Girl is sad.

Girl meets very handsome Boy.

Boy is a brat.

Girl resolves not to obsess over bratty Boy.

Girl fails miserably.

Boy confesses love to Girl.

Girl decides that love will overcome all, and loves him back. Because she's stupid.

Evil Murderer targets Girl because (as far as I can tell) every- one/thing does.

Boy miraculously saves Girl.

They live happily until the next book.

Yep. That's right. I'm spoofing Twilight. It's a good thing only one person reads this because the weight of the hate mail would crush me. As far as plagiarism goes, there's a word for this sort of thing. 'Fanfic'.

But the thing is, Twilight has some desperate needs. For instance, it needs vampire hunters. And witches. And fiery preachers with crucifixes. And possibly Ents, although the Teacher says I have to read that part of the book before I put Ents in anything because she loves the Ents and doesn't want them misrepresented and I say the Lord of the Rings trilogy is forever long and I don't have time for that and there's no way I can read only part of it. So probably no Ents.

And see, this way I can kill off Rosalie! What could be better?

My working title is The Silverware Drawer because I can't take a name like that seriously and I'm taking too many things seriously and the first draft of Twilight, according to Meyer, was called Forks, and I hope she would know.

There are so totally going to be vampire hunters.


It's November. It will be December soon. I want it to be December.

I'm exhausted. I can't say I don't know why, but I wish there was something that could be actually done about it. But there isn't. The Teacher is still high maintenance. The house is still a wreck. I still have to study.

And I'm not writing.

And life sucks.

And someday I'm going to leave home and then it will all magically be better.

And if I believed that I would run away.

I hate being realistic.

Sunday, November 1, 2009


Halloween is not a big holiday in this house. No holiday is a big holiday in this house; we forgot to get the camera out for the last two Christmases. The biggest perk of Thanksgiving is staying home. When Easter comes we wonder what we'll do, and the answer is usually... nothing.

I would like to say that this is because we are enlightened people who have eschewed fuss and hassle in search of higher knowledge.

Mostly, we're just lazy.

Yesterday we went out to eat, and it was interesting because we were waited on by a devil, a gothic barmaid, a cow, a fairy, and someone in a striped shirt who is obviously a kindred spirit because he didn't bother to dress up.